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Flip-Book vs. iPDF: Which Format Is Best for Your eBook?

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 by Ruth

You have great content to share, but don’t know whether to publish your eBook in interactive PDF (iPDF) or flip-book format? Consider the pros and cons of each:

iPDF

Pro
As we shared in our recent post “The Beauty of an iPDF,” this format is interactive, sharable, content-rich, and visually compelling. iPDFs are great for chunking up large, dense pieces of content such as eBooks, reports, user guides, or sales playbooks; they make it easy for readers to jump around to what interests them most. They’re extremely portable and can be sent out as a simple email attachment. Delightful to read on iPads and other mobile devices, iPDFs let you navigate by tapping tabs and links with a single finger.

Con
Because iPDFs require a complex architecture, they can be pricey to produce. They also can be tricky and time-consuming to update due to their interactivity. So, iPDFs are best used for “big wow” eBooks or other long-form assets that won’t require frequent updates.

Flip-book

Pro
Flip-book format provides a familiar, page-turning (book-like) user experience if your eBook should be read in a linear fashion—from start to finish.

Con
eBooks with a page-flip feature often need to be hosted online, so users need a wireless connection to view them. Because you’re limited to how much content you can fit onto a page, this format is less attractive for dense copy. Flip-books also provide limited interactivity and navigational flexibility. Arrows enable users to move forward, back, and skip to the front—but you can’t jump to the content you want using tabs or links, which you can do in iPDF.

The following table is designed to help you determine whether an iPDF or flip-book is the right format for sharing your information:

ipdf_vs_ebook

Need help choosing the right format for your needs? The B2B eBook experts at the Content Bureau would love to talk with you. We can work with you to create a unique, compelling, and interactive piece within your budget and time frame.

is a member of the Content Bureau editorial team.

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